Thursday, March 28, 2002
President Bush signed the free-speech restriction bill....I mean campaign finance reform bill yesterday. Today, editorials in major newspapers decried the fact that Bush didn't have an elaborate bill-signing ceremony with the television cameras.
A FEW WEEKS ago, when the House was voting on campaign finance reform, presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer was ready to give President Bush credit for creating the climate that gave reform its first real chance at passage. But there wasn't any chest-thumping at the White House yesterday when the president signed the landmark measure into law. At least we guess there wasn't, but we couldn't really see, because Mr. Bush chose to act quickly and quietly, in the privacy of the Oval Office. If that meant, for the president's good friend Sen. John McCain and his fellow reformers, no signing ceremony, no souvenir pens and no celebration to mark the culmination of years of dogged pursuit of reform legislation -- well, the president's a busy man.
I may just be cynical, but I think that the reason that Bush didn't have the bill signing was he didn't want the TV news shows replaying the signing ceremony over and over again once the Supreme Court declares 90 percent of the legislation unconstitutional.
And then there's the Washington Post's Mary McGrory.
Who says he's a sore loser? Who says he just couldn't give John McCain his moment in the Rose Garden, a ceremonial signing of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill? Who says he would rather look petty than go through the gripping and grinning and pen-handling that a White House ceremony entails?
I hate to attack really old people like McGrory, but she's acting like the grandmother who sees the kids fighting over a toy and proceeds to lecture them. Well, these aren't kids she's dealing with, and the condescending tone is really sickening. I feel just like patting her on the head and handing her her teeth.